The Heroes Conference at Shaolin Temple in DGSD was one of the biggest and most important wulin gatherings ever in the Jin Yong universe. It's surprising, however, to look at the list of some of the invitees as well as some of the absentees.
1. The Four Evils: Why were these guys invited? Sure, Deun Yin Hing had once been a prince of Dali and was probably one of the top ten martial artists in wulin at the time, but he and his fellow three Evils were considered public menaces in wulin. Moreover, since the legitimate Deun Royal Family (as represented by Deun Jing Tsun and Deun Yu) was also present, wouldn't this be awkward?
2. Ding Chun Chou and Sing Suk Sect: The Sing Suk Sect was fairly important at the time of DGSD, so maybe they could rate an invitation, but wasn't the Sing Suk Sect also considered a hostile power? Moreover, Ding Chun Chou had had run-ins with Shaolin monks and killed several somewhat prominent Shaolin monks before. Was it really such a good idea to invite him?
3. Siu Fung and the Khitan Empire: Once upon a time, Kiu Fung was one the most beloved figures in wulin. By the time of the Heroes Conference at Shaolin, however, he had been ousted from his position as Chief of the Beggar's Union and banished by wulin in general. He was still considered a pariah by wulin...regarded as a murderer of his adoptive parents, his teacher, and various wulin people. Moreover, he had become a prominent military leader in the Khitan Empire, which the wulin of the Northern Sung Dynasty considered its greatest enemy. That being the case, why was Siu Fung and his army invited to the conference?
1. If Kiu Fung and the Khitan were invited, why not the Hsi Hsia 1 Bun Tong force? They were no more an enemy of the Northern Sung wulin than the Khitan were. If the Khitan were invited, it's difficult to see why the Hsi Hsia were not.
2. If the Sing Suk Sect got an invitation, why not the Siu Yiu Sect? Having Hui Juk there doesn't really count since he was not widely known to be the Siu Yiu Sect Leader at the time (nor did he officially represent the sect at the conference). His four guardian angels showed up a little later, but they were there to "protect" him (as if), not to represent their sect at the conference in an official capacity. Along with them should have come the 72 Cavedwellers 32 Island Dwellers (I think I've got that backwards), who were affiliated with the Siu Yiu Sect at the time.
3. Chung Man Sau and the leaders of the Mo Leung Sword Sect whom we saw during Deun Yu's adventures early in the story were no-shows at the Shaolin Conference. These were not particularly powerful wulin personalities, but officially, weren't they much more legitimate than the likes of the Four Great Evils and the Sing Suk Sect? What a snub it would be for Chung Man Sau or the Mo Leung Sect leaders to find out that the Great Evils had been invited to Shaolin for the big Heroes Conference, but they hadn't.
Some pretty interesting criteria on who got invited and who didn't to this great Heroes Conference.